Learning about The Not So Great Wall of the Pine Nuts


On his way south, Nevada Division of Forestry helicopter pilot Craig Robison last week noticed a wall stretching along the crest of the Pine Nut Mountain south of Sunrise Pass Road.

Robison, the son of District Judge Norm Robison, grew up in Fish Springs. He posed the question on Thursday, and it and a video he took went online in Friday’s R-C Morning Report.

By 7:15 a.m., reader Nancy Trolson said she’d read about the Civilian Conservation Corps building a rock drift fence in the Pine Nuts.

Not 15 minutes later, Debbe Nye weighed in confirming the account.

Nye found a story about a spike camp at Mattie Roach Springs in the Aug. 9, 1940, edition of The R-C that confirmed that the wall was the work of the CCC.

“At this spike camp, a group of boys now engaged in building a drift fence from the northern extremes of the Pine Nut range to a point near Wellington,” the article said. “The fence has been completed to the high ridge of Como Peak. Along the top of this peak, it was necessary to build a stone fence because of the rocky character of the region.”

There were other sections of the fence that consisted of barbed wire and juniper poles.

“(The) purpose of this drift fence is to divide range land used by Carson Valley and Mason Valley stockmen and prevent future arguments and friction that for years has existed between the two groups,” the article continued. “The Dangberg Land and Livestock Co. and William Dressler are the largest holders of range permits on the western slopes of the Pine Nut Range.”

Nye also cited “The Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada: From Boys to Men” by Renee Corona Kolvet and Victoria Ford

In all about a dozen Carson Valley residents came forward with an answer to the question about the “Not So Great Wall of the Pine Nuts.”

Bill Souligny said father-in-law Dr. Robert Mauk told him one of the project superintendents was a patient.

I can’t claim the wall moniker is original. It came from a 2015 post on kitplanes.com written by Paul Dye, who said he noticed the wall when he was flying over the Pine Nuts on his way to Dayton.

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at khildebrand@recordcourier.com


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